The episode in question aired on March 22, 1986, and it began with Lorne Michaels, appearing on the show, announcing that Coppola was coming in to direct. The filmmaker behind “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” was well-respected in 1979, but by 1986, he was something of a laughing stock. His 1982 film “One from the Heart” was one of the director’s most notable bombs, and even his films “The Outsiders,” “Rumble Fish,” and “The Cotton Club” were generally only liked instead. who is loved It didn’t help that Coppola had a reputation for being a raving egomaniac, a reputation echoed loudly on SNL by cast member Terry Sweeney (incidentally, SNL’s first openly gay cast member).
In many sketches, Coppola would appear on stage and tell the actors, very earnestly, how to perform the scene better. He appeared with Wendt in the opening monologue, telling the comedian to think of an incident from his childhood to make his performance more believable. As a marginal cartoon in MAD Magazine, maybe that joke would work. As a running gag in a 90-minute program, it’s death. No energy. Coppola is clearly not an actor.
While athletes, politicians, Elon Musk, and other non-actors have appeared on SNL throughout its history, writers have even written sketches to work around them. Comedians will do the heavy lifting while the non-performer delivers a punchline or patiently takes it on the chin. Disappointingly, Michaels allowed Coppola to take a lot of real estate. The only one who wrested control from the director was Jon Lovitz in character as the Master Thespian.